On any given night Molasses Books, the tiny bookshop/bar in Bushwick, draws a colorful crowd to readings and other happenings– really, on any given night of the week you are bound to find cool characters. But on Tuesday, an especially great group made it out to Chess Night, a newish event popping off once a month at the shop. At one point, my friend who had invited me to the casual, come-and-go-whenever get-together, looked up from his chess game and remarked, “I’ve heard, like, five people mention polyamory tonight.”
Crime + Community
Local politicians are condemning the “reprehensible symbolism” of swastikas that appeared in a South Williamsburg apartment building, and are calling on the Trump administration to denounce what they say is a result of “the politics of hatred and fear.”
A statement released this afternoon speaks out against the anti-semitic graffiti that appeared last week in the Schaefer Landing apartment building on Kent Street, home to a large number of Orthodox Jews.
“It’s not so good, huh?” laughs Kathleen Webster, president of the Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coalition as she refers to the D- grade that the park received from New Yorkers for Parks. The near-failing grade was issued last year by the nonprofit whose research and policy recommendations help in advocating for more equitably distributed, sustainable and well-maintained parks in the city.
I can come up with a handful of half-decent excuses to not talk to a canvasser on the street, ranging from the whiny to the legit– I really am too broke to help. But to tell the truth, I also don’t want to get into a difficult conversation about the dismal state of the world. Don’t we have enough of that shoved down our social media feeds everyday? So yes, turns out I am that person that we wrote about in October, the one who brushes past Amnesty International canvassers. There’s an art to it, too: first I let my gaze turn steely, then I tighten the grip on my bag and put on an air of a person with a purpose. It works like a charm and at worst, I’m left with a slight twinge of guilt.
Perhaps you’ve noticed that, since sometime late last week, almost everywhere you turn, people are in a rather dour mood. Could it be that nothing feels quite so exciting after watching a limousine burst into flames? Is it all downhill from here? True, Inauguration Day was pretty insane for a lot of people, and as good-quality club drugs have taught us, even the most gorgeously wild highs will inevitably come crashing down.
From what I understand, civic engagement is somewhat different than partying all night, but then again, getting back on the protest pony is just as taxing as snapping out of a hangover stupor– in both cases, technology makes things easier, but also harder. Why not just retweet some sick “Down with Prez Cheeto” slogan? Or if you’re really not in any hurry, there’s always Shia LaBeouf’s anti-Trump livestream— just be sure to get there sometime within the next four years.
But perhaps techy slacktivism really grinds your gears. Maybe you’re convinced that you have more to contribute than turning your body into an object of Monsieur LaBeouf’s amusement, but let’s be real, acting like a Shepard Fairey mural will just get you into trouble. (See, even Shia LaBeouf is not immune.) So how does one avoid either doing too little or going too far, both of which have equally great potential for compounding our current nightmare exponentially forever and ever? City Reliquary is here to help with a new series that promises to make you feel less ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ about democratic citizenry.
As long as we can keep breathing for the next 40 hours or so– oh, and dodge any breakaway scaffolding flying overhead, and reject your roommate’s baked goods that are really just botulism bombs anyway– we’re gonna make it outta 2016, otherwise known as the stinkiest steaming cesspool of a year on record.
Everything is horrible, yes, it’s true– but some rather uplifting news has emerged from the unlikeliest of places, crime stats!
This week, we present a series of longer pieces unraveling the histories of storied buildings.
On May 31, 1848, Maria Seaboth, a 14-year-old orphan, showed up at the door of the second location of the Isaac T. Hopper Home, a halfway house for women just released from prison at Tenth Avenue and 21st Street. Life couldn’t have been worse. She was destitute, homeless, and friendless and had been wandering from place to place, taking shelter in “various filthy and disgusting abodes,” the matron’s diary recorded as she observed the couple of dozen women in her charge.
This week and next, we present a series of longer pieces unraveling the histories of storied buildings.
Nothing, at least nothing widely known, has happened at the Ravenite Social Club since Christmas Eve thirty-one years ago, when it became the court of John Gotti. Some 200 well-wishers filed across its rosette-tiled floor to pay their respects to the newly anointed boss of the Gambino crime family. FBI detectives concealed in a van watched the procession as the start of a new dynasty began.
Was SantaCon naughty or nice this year?
According to the commanding officer of the 9th Precinct, the annual Red Menace was on jolly good behavior by the time it reached the East Village.
After over a decade of uncertainty, the city has struck a deal to acquire the final 11 acres needed to complete Bushwick Inlet Park. The parcel of land on the Greenpoint-Williamsburg waterfront, a subject of controversy for years, will be purchased for $160 million, according to announcement from the mayor’s office.
Anti-Trump protesters once again poured into the city streets over the weekend. On Saturday, thousands of people shut down Fifth Avenue for more than two miles as they marched from Union Square to Trump Tower, in Midtown East, screaming messages of disgust and defiance at the president-elect. On Sunday afternoon, activists gathered their forces outside of Trump International Hotel & Tower, near Columbus Circle, to protest looming policy measures that would have major consequences for undocumented immigrants and their families.
With the announcement of Donald Trump’s jaw-dropping victory on Wednesday morning, a massive question mark now hangs over the country. Will Trump’s reign be equally as volatile as the GOP candidate’s campaign? Hard to say, since the guy clearly gave very few shits about consistency. What’s more, it’s often next to impossible to understand what, if anything, Trump believes in (even his own ghostwriter has described Trump as a “living black hole”). But our first “orange president” has made one promise resoundingly clear: Immigrants are going to get hit hard.